EV Charging At Home: What You Need To Know

EV Charging At Home: What You Need To Know

EVs are growing in popularity. It's no wonder when they cost around 40c per litre to “fill up”.

While a cost effective and environmentally friendly solution, there are some logistics to think about.

Such as, how you can charge it at home, the office or when you are out and about.

EV charging at home is completely possible, but there are a few things to be mindful of.

Let’s discover what those things are.

EV Charging At Home: What You Need To Know

Home Charging 101

As many as 82% of EV owners charge their vehicles at home, so it is a common way to power your car and preferable to sitting in the queue at the petrol station! But, charging an EV is not quite as simple as charging your cellphone. Sure, you can use a standard 3 point plug and simply plug into a normal socket, but that is the most inefficient way to charge.

Here’s the lowdown on your charging options:

Standard Powerpoint

Most models of electric vehicles will come with their own charging cable that can be plugged into a standard power point. It is really important that you use this cable specifically if you choose to charge via a three-pin plug.

That’s because the cable itself has an in-cable control and protection device, otherwise known as an ICCPD. The cord itself contains a safety device that ensures your EV is charged safely and will shut off power if there is an issue.

Charging with this method will get the job done, but you will probably find you’ll need to leave your vehicle plugged in overnight to get a decent enough charge. Because these cables are limited to the amount of electricity they can conduct, it will likely take 8-10 hours to create 100km worth of range.

This is fine if you have the time to wait, but if you need a quick top up or you are charging a larger battery model, you may want to consider a dedicated home charger. That’s why this cable is often seen as a back up charging option, not the preferred method.

Dedicated Home Charger

A more efficient charging option is to invest in a wall-mounted charging unit. These can be installed internally or externally and should be near to where you park your car. Wall-mounted chargers are connected to the electrical wiring of your home via a separate sub-circuit for faster charging. You can usually achieve a full charge in around 4 hours.

Chat with your electrician about your wall charging options and if a ‘smart’ EV charger could be viable. Smart chargers are different to a standard wall-mounted charger and offer a bunch of ways to make charging better.

The main feature is that they will always try to charge your vehicle when the demand for electricity is at its lowest, therefore is the cheapest. It also provides a safer option, ensuring your home can safely cope with the additional electrical load of an EV charger and is smart home ready, able to connect to your home network and optimise electricity usage.

Public Charging

There is a growing network of public chargers across the country that you can plug into and top up with. Each charging station comes with a tethered cable, so you just drive up and plug in. Some chargers will charge a fee to use them, but simply create an online account for easy billing and payment. Just be mindful that public chargers are often in demand, so just charge what you need and be on your way.

Things To Be Mindful Of With EV Charging

No DIY Installs

Wall-mounted and Smart chargers must be installed by a qualified electrician to meet safety standards. Contact the team at Retrolec if you would like to know more about EV charging at home or how we can help you with installation.

NZ Only Equipment

EVs are popular worldwide, so you want to make sure you are using equipment that is compatible with your vehicle, but also with NZ’s power supplies. Don’t use equipment like charging cables unless they stipulate a voltage range that includes 230V, has an NZ plug, and hasn’t been modified in any way. This will ensure your ICCPD will work as it is intended.

Safety First

Safe charging protects your home wiring and prevents accidents from occurring. Follow these safe charging tips:

  • Don’t use an extension cord to charge
  • Never run the charging cable across a footpath
  • Don’t multi or double plugs to connect your charging cable to
  • Have your electrician check your home has the electrical capacity to support EC charging
  • Learn how to safely stop charging in an emergency or malfunction
  • Don’t use damaged cables or connections
  • Ensure your wall charger charger is properly installed and maintained

Location, Location, Location

Choose the location wisely when installing your wall-mounted charger. It should be located in a spot that is convenient to where you park your car and should be within reach of your EV’s charging port. Remember that it needs to be installed by a qualified electrician.

Power Plans

Some power companies will have specific EV charging power plans that you can utilise to make charging even more cost effective. Ideally, you want to charge in off-peak power hours, which a Smart charger can help you do via a signal from your power provider.

Energy Efficiency

If you are already being more sustainable by driving an EV, you might want to explore renewable sources of energy for your home. Solar panels are a great way to generate energy for your home and stop your reliance on the national power grid. Chat with our team if you’d like to know more about installing solar panels at your place.


It is important to check your EV charger on a regular basis to ensure it is working as it should and there are no signs of obvious wear and tear. If you do discover anything that is out of place, then call an electrician immediately to fix the issue.

The team here at Retrolec are specialists in EV charging at home. We can advise you about the best EV charging option for your needs and handle the entire installation process too. Give us a call today to talk about how you can get an EV charger at your place.